Hogenakkal Falls: Where water, rocks and boats converge

Hogenakkal Falls is nature at its best, with gushing waterfalls, one of the world’s oldest rock formations and bamboo coracles drifting gently in the waters. About 150 km from Bengaluru, Hogenakkal brings together natural beauty, fun and adventure

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Hogenakkal Falls: Where water, rocks and boats converge

Hogenakkal Falls: Where water, rocks and boats converge

Hogenakkal Falls is a series of waterfalls formed by the Kaveri River on the border between the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu and the Chamrajnagar district of Karnataka. The Kaveri River originates at Talakaveri in the Brahmagiri hills of the Western Ghats, gaining size and strength as various tributaries join it. 

At Hogenakkal, the mighty Kaveri splits into multiple small streams cascading from different heights ranging from 15 feet to 66 feet. The high waterfalls sound like continuous thunder.

The name "Hogenakkal" derives from Kannada, meaning "Smoky Rocks," a fitting description for the streams cascading down rocky terrain and creating a mesmerizing smoky pattern. The forceful current transforms into a frothy white stream with its sheer power. 

The rushing waters, descending at high velocity, eventually merge into the Mettur Stanley Reservoir. Constructed in 1939, the dam is used for irrigation and hydropower generation. Hogenakkal stands out as a destination for all seasons, offering an unparalleled experience of cascading water, echoing sounds of nature, and the steady flow of the river.

The carbonatite rocks all around the waterfalls are one of the oldest formations in South Asia and the world. 

Also Read: Wari Chora: Meghalaya's hidden canyon

Coracles in Kaveri

To get close to nature, tourists can take a coracle ride and gently drift along the river's embrace. During the dry season, boating is permitted, providing a vital source of income for operators. 

Coracles, crafted from bamboo and other materials and locally known as ‘parisal’, offer a unique mode of transportation. The rides are fun and one coracle can accommodate up to eight passengers at a time.

The surroundings teem with activity, as vendors sell freshly caught fish and refreshments. Swimming and bathing are common pastimes, with improvised stalls offering to prepare freshly caught fish for visitors.

Boatmen waiting for tourists at Hogenakkal. Pic: Flickr

The best time to visit Hogenakkal is post-monsoon when the river is at its peak. However, some opt for the off-season to avoid crowds. 

Rich in cultural history, Hogenakkal Falls finds a reference in Sangam Literature as "Thalaineer Aruvi," with its surroundings known as "Thalaineer Naadu." Legends recount its association with King Adiyaman Neduman Anji, chronicled in Sangam Literature such as Purananooru, Agananooru, and Kurunthogai.

The Government of Tamil Nadu has proposed converting the falls into a drinking water source for the state.

tourists hokenaggal
Tourists at Hogenakkal. Pic: Flickr

Also Read: Anini: A hidden gem in the heart of Arunachal Pradesh

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